Zen and The Art of the College Experience

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dear Friends and Supporters:
 
Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued the most important decision affecting my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, since the lower federal court ruling in December 2001.  An order was issued this morning that the court will accept for review the following issues, all of which are of enormous constitutional significance and go to the very essence of Mumia's right to a fair trial due process of law, and equal protection of the law under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:
• Claim 14:  Whether appellant was denied his constitutional rights due to the prosecution’s trial summation.
• Claim 16:  Whether the Commonwealth’s use of peremptory challenges at trial violated appellant’s constitutional rights under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).
• Claim 29: Whether appellant was denied due process during post-conviction proceedings as a result of alleged judicial bias.
Claim 16 concerns the prosecutorial use of racism in jury selection.  The record establishes beyond question that racism is a major thread that has run through this case since Mumia's 1981 arrest, and continues to today.  Claim 14 relates to the guilt phase.  It includes the prosecutor's argument that if convicted Mumia would have "appeal after appeal."  That comment effectively lessened the burden of the jurors, and turned the concept of reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence on its head.  Claim 29 is about the bias and incredible racism of Judge Albert Sabo, the trial judge.  Unfortunately, it is limited to his conduct at the 1995 evidentiary (PCRA) hearing, rather than his monstrous behavior at trial.  This restriction is because all of the prior attorneys mistakenly did not attack Sabo's misconduct at trial, an unfortunate oversight and mistake
 
The court has also issued a briefing schedule.  The case is now on the fast track, as I have been predicting.  The opening briefs are due to be filed by January 17, 2006.
 
Please post this e-mail and the attached Order on your web sites, and circulate it.
 
Today we achieved a great victory in the campaign to win a new trial and the eventual freedom of Mumia.
 
Your support, and activism, is badly needed and appreciated.
 
With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
=============
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123
 
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Please Post to all lists, web sites, blogs and to friends. Thanks!

http://www.witnesstorture.org
See photos and bios on the group, info on Guantanamo,
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1206-07.htm
Article on Action from the Baltimore Sun

In this email:
1. Announcement of "Witness Against Torture" and call to action
2. Press Release
3. Letter to Friends and Activists


1. Announcement of "Witness Against Torture" and call to action:
U.S. Christians March on Guantanamo to visit Prisoners on Hunger Strike
Take Action to Stop the Torture, Abuse & Illegal Detentions
Please forward this information to your friends, families, organizations and other contacts.
Twenty-five U.S. Christians in the nonviolent tradition of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker are setting out from Santiago, Cuba today (Dec. 6) on a solemn 50-mile march to Guantanamo Bay. They seek to "defend human dignity" by visiting with the hundreds of detainees who have been held for more than three years under horrific conditions by the U.S. government. The group plans to arrive outside the gates of the U.S. naval base and prison complex on Guantanamo Bay on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Participants in the group include a Jesuit Priest, Steve Kelly, a Catholic Nun, Sr. Anne Montgomery, Frida Berrigan, daughter of the late antiwar activist Phil Berrigan, and representatives of a number of Catholic Worker Communities. They are requesting entry into the compound to visit and interview the detainees as a "work of mercy" in keeping with their faith. If refused, as United Nations inspectors were just two weeks ago, they will hold a fast in solidarity and a vigil to pray for the immediate abolition of torture by all nations.


Take Action!
Sign-on to a letter to President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Guantanamo Naval Base Commanding Officer Mark M. Leary, requesting that the marchers be allowed to visit those incarcerated in the Guantanamo Bay prison: http://www.witnesstorture.org/signletter

Organize a solidarity vigil to End Torture and Illegal Detentions on International Human Rights Day, this Saturday, December 10. Register your vigil online at http://www.witnesstorture.org/events. Call your local media outlets to let them know.

Donate to this effort at http://www.witnesstorture.org/donate

To stay informed, download factsheets and flyers, and read the marchers' online blogs, visit http://www.witnesstorture.org

2. Press Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2005
CONTACT: Witness Against Torture
Mike McGuire 347-683-4928
press@witnesstorture.org

U.S. Christians March on Guantanamo to visit Prisoners on Hunger Strike

"Witness Against Torture" Implores U.S. Military to Allow Access So They Can Perform Work of Mercy: Bringing Comfort to Prisoners
Santiago, Cuba - Twenty-five Christians in the nonviolent tradition of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker arrived in Cuba last evening and plan to set out from Santiago today on a solemn fifty-mile march to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They seek to "defend human dignity" by visiting with the hundreds of detainees who have been held for more than three years under horrific conditions by the U.S. government.

"As a Christian, I feel compelled to reach out across national boundaries to perform one of the most basic acts of faith- as described in the gospel of Matthew 25, I was in prison and you visited me," explained Catholic Worker Matthew Daloisio. "We want our fellow Americans to see the shameful acts of torture and abuse taking place in this and other illegal prisons hidden across the globe. We pray that others will join us in urging our government to allow us to perform this act of Christian faith."

Participants in the group include a Jesuit Priest, Steve Kelly, a Catholic Nun, Sr. Anne Montgomery, Frida Berrigan, daughter of the late antiwar activist Phil Berrigan, and representatives of a number of Catholic Worker Communities. The marchers plan to arrive outside the gates of the U.S. naval base and prison complex on Guantanamo Bay on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

They are requesting entry into the compound to visit and interview the detainees as a "work of mercy" in keeping with their faith. If refused, as United Nations inspectors were just two weeks ago, they will hold a fast in solidarity and a vigil to pray for the immediate abolition of torture by all nations.

A press conference at the St. Marks Church-on-the-Bowery will be held on December 7 to call on the U.S. Government to allow Witness Against Torture to visit the Guantanamo prisoners. Speakers will include Michael Ratner, head of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and CCR's Gitanjali Gutierrez, the lead attorney for Guantanamo Bay detainees. CCR brought the landmark detainee right-to-trial case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Government had to allow federal hearings to determine the legal status of detainees. Ratner will explain how the Bush Administration has refused to comply with this ruling. Speakers will also include relatives of a Guantanamo Bay detainee now on hunger strike. Sister Diana Ortiz, a U.S. nun who was a victim of rape and torture in Guatemala, will be joined by anti-torture activist Jennifer Harberry, to speak of what it feels like to be a victim of torture.

A sign-on letter at http://www.witnesstorture.org will allow Americans to join their call.

# # #




3. Letter to Friends and Activists:

Dear Friends and Fellow Activists,

On December 5th, a group of us from the United States embarked on an 11-day journey to the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. We arrived in Santiago, Cuba to begin a five-day, 77+ mile walk to the Guantánamo base, where we hope to enter the detention facility to monitor the conditions and meet with both guards and prisoners. We plan to stay until at least December 15th to maintain a vigil outside the gates of the base, having a presence over International Human Rights Day on December 10.

It is our hope to be able to interview detainees about torture claims and hunger strikes at the base. We also seek to initiate a credible, objective and fair assessment of the situation of the detainees at the detention facility. We have lawyers and doctors on call to join us, should we be allowed in..

It was revealed in mid-November that the U.S. has detained more than 83,000 people in its four-year "war on terror" of which 14,500 remain in jail. Some 108 are known to have died in U.S. custody, prompting 26 homicide investigations.

Guantánamo is the closest-to-home location of some of these detentions and alleged abuses. We believe that an ocean, or border, or travel restriction should not stop us from standing us for what is right.

While we are in Cuba, we have a press team working here in the U.S. to encourage media coverage of our walk and witness in order to keep the plight of the detainees at the forefront of the public's mind.

To track our journey, see photos, access press releases, statements, and trip updates, please see http://www.witnesstorture.org This site will be updated regularly to keep you abreast of our journey.

There will be a sign-on letter on the website calling on the US government to stop violating the prisoners rights and to let us into the base. In June, President Bush countered questions about torture at Guantánamo and the United States' commitment to human rights by inviting members of the European Union to inspect the U.S. base at Guantánamo. He said, "you're welcome to go down there yourselves... and take a look at the conditions." We are hoping you will join in pressuring the Bush administration to let us answer its invitation by signing the letter and publicly supporting our request to be let into the base.

Feel free to forward this on to others as well.

In Peace,

Jackie Allen Matthew W. Daloisio Sr. Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
Hartford Catholic Worker New York Catholic Worker Kairos Community, NY

Gary Ashbeck Amanda W. Daloisio Grace Ritter
Jonah House, MD New York Catholic Worker Ithaca, NY

Frida Berrigan Thomas J. Feagley Patricia Santoro
War Resisters League, NY Malden, MA Jersey City, NJ

Anna Brown Clare Grady William Streit
Kairos Community, NJ Ithaca Catholic Worker Little Flower Catholic Worker, VA

Dana M. Brown Teresa Grady Sheila Stumph
Ithaca, NY Ithaca Catholic Worker Raleigh Catholic Worker, NC

Daniel Burns Rev. Steve Kelly, SJ Carmen Trotta
Ithaca Catholic Worker Oakland, CA New York Catholic Worker

Mark Colville Dina Khorasanee Tanya Theriault
New Haven Catholic Worker Canada New York Catholic Worker

Susan Crane Art Laffin Matthew Vogel
Jonah House, MD Dorothy Day Catholic New York Catholic Worker
Worker, Washington, DC
Scott Langley
Raleigh Catholic Worker, NC


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Mary Anne Grady Flores
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Ithaca, N.Y. 14850 (607) 273-7437
mgrady@lightlink.com

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"The poor tells us who we are,
The prophets tell us who we could be,
So we hide the poor,
And kill the prophets" - Phil Berrigan

"Because we want peace with half a heart, half a life and will, the
war making continues. Because the making of war is total - but the making
of peace by our cowardice is partial." Father Daniel Berrigan

"There comes a time when silence is betrayal." MLK
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK
"If you think you're too small to be effective,
you've never been in bed with a mosquito."
-- War Resisters' League


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Monday, December 05, 2005

I would have liked to thank everyone for their feedback individually, but due to the weird thread system I have no way of knowing who said what or of getting back to the person. None the less; thank you. Please feel free to continue any of these dialogs with me sometime in person, if this writing and blog doesn’t transcend the ones and zeros it consists of in some way there is not point to it and it has been a waste of everyone’s time.

For those of you who don’t know, I am considering studying film, yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to shadow a friend while he worked on a film of his. I did pick up a few things but mostly how amazing it would be to sit in his shoes and be making my own film. As part of this accumulating ambition to become a filmmaker I have been trying to watch a lot of good films.

The last two films that I have watched were, as I already posted, What The Bleep Do We Know and I Heart Huckebees. Today I had an experience that questions the philosophy of both films. The background is that from time to time my grandma sounds me cookies, over Thanksgiving break she told me she would send some more up soon. I didn’t receive any last week but she was going to Canada over the weekend so I assumed she hadn’t had a chance. Today when I went to get my mail I thought let me try the thing from What the Bleep. So before I open my mailbox I look at it and decided the box of cookies were inside. I open the mailbox and there they were. Somehow I knew the cookies were there before I saw them.

I heart Huckebees is an existentialist film; in it a man goes to existentialist detectives to solve his coincidence they say something along the lines of most coincidences are just that, coincidences.

My question is: was this a coincidence? Did my thinking the cookies would be there have any effect on them actually being there? Did the cookies being there have any effect on me thinking they were there? Was my knowledge of my grandma make me know that she would have sent them before she left, or is this just a dumb coincidence?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Sorry I wrote this thursday, but saved it as a draft instead of posting it,
my mistake

It just took nearly six hours but I just saw one of the most amazing films I have ever seen. The run time wasn’t that long but as it goes with large groups of amazing people everyone has their own thing going on so it took us several hours to begin. What is a good film without good friends, and what any sort of gathering without food? A Chinese food break was entail.

I have been relying on this film for inspiration for at least the day, if not longer, and been looking forward to seeing it for several months. It came to our attention through a conversation with a very special person several at about this time in the morning. Five of us, early one morning several months ago, were talking about the power of thought; our new friend jack told us about this experiment done to document the power of thought over water. In doing so he recommended, “What the Bleep do We Know.”

This film transcends genres, one member of the cast in the cast commentary describes it as, “It’s a feature film…but its not, it’s a documentary… but its not, it’s an animation…but its not.” The film is filled with moments where shivers run up and down your spine as you make connections. Any one of these would have made my day by itself; but together they made me feel as if seeing this film is the most important thing I’ve done. The film presents a plethora of ideas ranging from the practical applications of quantum physics to the key to a positive self image. The movie even divulges the meaning of life…

YES IT IS THAT AMAZING!!!!!

So the moral is, besides seeing the movie, think good thoughts, feel good about yourself, don’t doubt the effect you have on your surroundings and always be conscious of how much your attitude effects your situation.

Peace, Hugs, Love,
Greg

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Earlier today I went to a lecture over at Cornell, the topic was Shabbat. One of the interesting things that came up was the idea that stepping back from your work on the seventh day is the only way to know that you own your work and that it does not own you. The problem is, that at this point in my life my schoolwork does own me. This is not a good thing, I feel if I try to take control of my work compromised. My work is part of who I am but definitely not all of who I am so I find myself in a situation where either way I need to compromise myself.
Here I am with so much work that I literally don’t know where to start. With this mindset and this pressure I feel like nothing I produce will be a fair representation of my work or myself.

I am just a boy in search of who I am;
People as a mirror are all around,
It is good to reflect,
As Travelers sometimes we know where we've been;
What would be the fun in knowing where we are going.
I will get there just the same.

the wear,
the when,
and the how,
are inconsequential.
I will get there just the same.

What is important is,
who and why;
without people we are pointless,
and without a point we have know where to go.

Where am I going,
What is my point,
Who are my people?

The answer is that I don't know;
Every day I set out to do good in the world,
Every day I go where I'm taken,
I do not know the destination;
As long as you are there with me,
we will get there just the same.


We live in a world where we need to crash into each if we want to interact. Lets tell the world "no"; if we don't have intimacy in our everyday lives what do we have? We walk around dull to the world, glazed over. Let's make it stop! but here I am, a Hypocrite; engrossed in myself letting the world pass by my window. We should interact, let me know?

Monday, November 28, 2005

In reflection I have found that I forgotten the point of Thanksgiving. I feel like I am not alone in this. Here we have a holiday devoted entirely to being thankful for what we have. But, for me at least, the holiday passed without giving any more thought to what I have then on any other day. I found it was quite the opposite; with an extravagant meal and the lead up to Black Friday I felt un-fulfilled with what I had.

But I do have a lot of things to be thankful for. Why does society tell me I need more?

I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for my friends.
I am thankful I am not hungry.
I am thankful I can afford an education.
I am thankful for my self; because I am happy with who I am.
I am thankful for comfort.
I am thankful I can appreciate the smaller things in life.

The list could go on; but we never think about these things. We only think about what we want; we don’t need any of these things they are all just extra things we are told we need (“qSD” Quote the cat.) And that advise is something I can am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

On “Digital Identity.”

As we enter the void of cyberspace we gain absolute control of who we can become. Within a digital environment the role we choose is limited solely by internal notions of self. The notion of a Digital Identity, existing separately from “Identity” represents an escapist mentality created by a fear of self. The Internet is one of the most influential inventions developed within recent decades; although there is no denying its benefits it creates a move away from reality which consequently makes intimacy in daily life more difficult. Self-presentation over the Internet is nothing more or less than an example of “Identity” viewed through a different set of filters. Once we gain an understanding of how we interact with the digital environment the question becomes, to what extent does the Internet influence “Identity” and understanding the implications of this.

Sticking with the frequent analogy of surfing the net, the digital terrain is vast and deep. At some point, while carving from site to site we must come to the realization that once the digital landscape was empty. In comparison to its current girth the Internet was originally a vacuum; since its birth millions of people have contributed information they considered worthy enough to be shared with the world. Based on the small aspects of themselves that all contributors of the Internet share we are able to get a slight idea of who these people are. What we see becomes this idea of “Digital Identity;” it is important to realize that this digital shadow of “Identity,” much like the shadows in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, Make it more difficult for us to perceive reality. In both cases, the concentration on the second hand image blinds us to the more encompassing reality.

As appealing as the idea of being able to be something completely different with the click of a button is, we are unable to go anywhere, digital or real, without bringing parts of who we are with us. Saying that you can go online and be a completely different person is similar to saying that you can be someone else entirely in an airport terminal. In both of these examples you are unable to escape your own baggage unless you pretend to be a different person. If pretending to be someone else equated becoming that person, all actors should be diagnosed with severe cases of multiple personality disorder.

If you are upset with something about your real life the Internet can provides an escape from it. It is common knowledge that running away from your problems is a negative thing to do and escaping into a digital world is no exception. Despite its freedom existing in a digital environment is limiting. Firstly any type of online community requires us to define ourselves. In the real world people can form their opinions based on all the physical and intellectual, conscious and unconscious ways in which we present ourselves. Digitally, everyone either shares just the aspects of themselves they are proud of, or behaves in ways they wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the guise of anonymity. Most online communities promise personal interaction, but at the same time make any type of true intimacy difficult. The initial creation of digital self, in its nature, sets up obstacles we must escape before being able to truly interact. We look online to find “New people,” but don’t talk to the new people we pass every day in the street; technology, in its shrinking and flattening of the world has made us more interested in talking to people from other places then meeting our own neighbors. The Internet and online communities is leading to the weakening of our local, real world, ties.

(This is not a personal essay, but I would like to clarify several things. By now, you have surly begun to question my motivations and if I have a vendetta against the Internet or something. The answer is, no I do not; the Internet is an important tool that I rely on and use daily. I have however abused it. In the past when I’ve felt lonely or been genuinely discontent with myself I have turned towards online games and communities as a way of escape. Whenever this took place it was because I was bored or lonely and in search of something I was lacking. In hindsight I see that what I was looking for was reality and a personal closeness. I wasted days of my life, living vicariously, in ways that prevented me from actually living. )

The Internet is inherently contradictory with the values of society. Children from a young age are told, “Don’t talk to strangers,” yet the Internet, the one environment where strangers can be the most deceptive, encourages, kids, often for the first time without parental supervision, to do just that. Even when you are talking with real world friends, over a relatively secure system such as aim, there is almost no way of knowing who is sitting at the other computer. (For me) There is no way to tell which of my grandparents I am talking with when I Instant Message their shared AOL account. An IM from a friend can be from them, a second friend, a sibling, or someone else entirely. Even when you are in fact talking with a close friend it becomes difficult to identify the difference between an honest in depth conversation and when they are pulling a prank.

I am not a phone person, growing up I thought it was a big deal to pick up a phone and call someone, the introduction of the internet, AIM especially, drastically changed my social life. Instead of, for the most part, waiting for someone to call me I could go to the computer and look at who was online; making plans became as easy as, “Hey…I’m bored…you’re bored…lets be bored together.” The effect of technology on society is even more drastic. So much of our culture has been shaped by our perception of technology. From changing the way in which we interact on a personal basis to changing the method of how we shop, to changing the face of the media the Internet undeniably helps shapes who we are.

With its widespread implications the Internet is problematic. The First and biggest problem within the digital environment is the lack of personal ness. The lack of human interaction over the Internet makes real life interaction more difficult. On the internet we are able to say things to people we normally would be afraid to, because there are so many other factors involved, and it has relatively small real world implications, if the response is unfavorable it can be made disappear with ease. Embarrassing questions or comments can be accredited to someone else in the room. Time spent online is often time that could be better spent divulging oneself in reality.

One IC Student plays a MUD, Achaea for about six hours a day, I briefly interviewed him about Identity and Technology. On the question of, “What effect does who you are, have on your Character?” his answer was, “Hmm, I’d say that my character is based mostly off of my philosophies, my fantastical desires, and my perceptions of beauty. Scratch mostly, and replace it with ‘entirely.’” His role in the game becomes a projection of his values onto a blank slate. His alter ego in the game becomes a more ideal self; the problem is that the game has made the traits he admires, in real life, traits only ascertainable in the game, “Namely: spell casting, wings, location.” The creation of an ideal self in the game makes living more truly to himself more difficult. He meets people in the game because he is afraid to meet people in real life. A problem with the Internet is that it perpetuates this cycle of not knowing your neighbor and consequently fearing them. Popularity in the game does not help one overcome fear; in game interaction, does not lead to interaction with the people who can have the most substantial impact life; instead it makes this more difficult. This cycle is not unique, but the norm in interaction with digital environments.

As we explore “Digital Identity” we move to the question what role does the Internet and technology play in shaping our lives, and sequentially at what point is technological domination of self a bad thing. Feed by M.T. Anderson addresses the issues of technology’s dominance of “Identity” by projecting current trends in multimedia towards the near future. The result is an Orwellian scenario in which there is no escape from the Feed. (Three dimensional internet projected directly into the brain.) The book shows two young people trying to escape the snare of technology only to further realize how deep they are in it and how they can’t live without it. The book really posses the question of do we use technology or does it use us.

Digital Identity is a nominal projection of Self. In talking about Identity, of any type, it becomes important to ask questions and think about the ideas on a more personal level. As is true with “Identity” everyone has there own notions of “Digital Identity.” In modern society, before we can understand either completely we must have a basic understanding of the interaction between the two. This interaction also changes on the individual level, but it is important question and find the balance. It is quintessential to find a place where we are able to use the Internet without it dominating our lives.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Destruction of the Day

This Blog is not at all intended to be cynical; just an update in regards to an event that took place today in my hometown. So far all the facts are unclear to me, but I do know several things.
Last night, my high school, the place where I have spent more of my waking hours, was broken into and wrecked. A, should be senior who had been belittled by the system, broke into the school, smashed a large number of the exterior windows, broke into classrooms, smashed ROTC trophies, and knocked over computers.
I know that the culprit had been either suspended or expelled in the last week but I do not know if he worked alone. I do not know the extent of the damage, one figure was 20k, but I do know that it was severe enough to force closer of school for the day.

My reaction to this event is mixed. The train of thought is as follows; O shit I can’t believe it, I hope the art-room, library, and the classroom we work on the paper are unharmed. I can’t believe he did it. What drove him to do this?
Who is to blame here, sure the perpetrator deserves some of the blame, but he has always, deservingly or undeservingly been reprimanded at the hands of authority. There are so many factors to take into account, growing up the kid was a punk but a harmless punk, over the years he has been put down for his harmless attitude, at some point the harmlessness disappears, the attitude became spiteful and real. I feel like this situation can be a microcosm to the current situation in France. Are we to blame the oppressors for their system of belittlement or the oppressed for their misguided violence occurring in a haphazard attempt at liberation?

I had broken into the same high school on countless occasions. Either because I forgot some sort of homework or was locked out of one of my countless activities, getting into the building after hours was never that difficult, at most it was an inconvenience that meant walking around in the cold for a bit.

How is today’s event going to effect school security; does the building now need to be locked down and create an inconvenience for ambitious students?

Is my town going to be looked poorly upon in reaction to the bad press? I asked my friends in high school to mobilize in cleaning up the school and showing that this incident was the action of a single person, and show that the majority of the student body doesn’t approve and values an education. I still dont know what the outcome is though.

Friendship and Karma

I have a friend who, next summer, is going to begin his tenure as an assistant chaplain in the US Army. I have a friend who had a years worth of work due yesterday. I have a friend who almost immobilized by back spasms. In the past week I have tried my best to help each of them with their hurdle and have re-affirmed my belief that good deeds and favors amongst friends is the worlds most valuable currency.
As a least common denominator, we have kindness; if we have kindness, and nothing else in our lives we are wealthy. If you are hungry and share your food with someone who is starving you keep yourself from starving. Sure there is the increase of gumption and moral standing which comes with sharing, but every time you share what you have you gain at least one more place to go when you have nothing.
I started running with my friend Yahuda, sure it’s nice that I am helping him get in shape for hell week next July, but he doesn’t realize how much my helping him is helping me. His need to run has given me the motivation to workout; I have been complaining that I don’t get enough exercise for months now. Also in Yahuda is going to help me with my meditation. Please note that this is not a trade. The help we are giving each other is something independent and un-relying upon any payback. I enjoy helping him, and I think, he enjoys helping me.
“Trading favors” and “lending” money amongst friends is something that should be avoided. Having a debt or unpaid-gratitude hanging over your head can only weaken friendship and compromise love. Instead give with no hope of reimburse, in my limited experience the rewards have been priceless.